When Matt Coronato could join the Calgary Flames depends on the college hockey playoffs

Ryan Pike
1 year ago
Pals, it goes without saying that (a) Matt Coronato is the Calgary Flames’ top unsigned prospect and (b) they would very much like him to be a signed player in the very near future. What “very near future” actually means depends on how college hockey’s playoffs unfold.
So friends, as they ramp up, let’s briefly discuss how the college tournaments work.
The big tent in college hockey is the NCAA national tournament – the semi-final and final rounds are known as the Frozen Four – with 16 teams invited, split across four regional sites, and then four teams advancing to the final weekend.
The NCAA has six conferences and a small pool of independent teams. How the NCAA tournament is populated is the six conference playoff tournament winners – Big 10, Hockey East, Atlantic Hockey, National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and ECAC Hockey – get automatic invites. The remaining 10 spots go to the best remaining NCAA teams based upon the pairwise rankings, which compare teams based on strength of schedule and performance.
The Flames have five college prospects right now:
  • F Matt Coronato – Harvard (ECAC): Harvard plays Princeton in the quarterfinal round. They are ranked sixth in the pairwise heading into this week, so even if they get knocked out of their conference tournament, they’re a virtual shoo-in for the national tournament.
  • D Jake Boltmann – Notre Dame (Big Ten): The Fighting Irish were knocked out of the Big Ten tournament already, losing to Michigan State in the quarterfinals. They’re tied for 18th in the pairwise, so they’re a long-shot for the tournament.
  • G Arsenii Sergeev – Connecticut (Hockey East): Sergeev has had a sneaky-good freshman season. The Huskies are set to play UMass Lowell this weekend in the quarterfinals. Like Notre Dame, they’re tied for 18th in the pairwise and are a national long-shot.
  • F Josh Nodler – Massachusetts (Hockey East): UMass (Amherst) are 29th in the pairwise. They were knocked out of the Hockey East tournament opening round by Boston College. They are done.
  • D/F Demetrios Koumontzis – Arizona State (Independent): The Sun Devils are 39th in the pairwise and have no tournament to win to sneak in. They are done.
The ECAC tournament runs this coming weekend (quarterfinals) and next (semi and final rounds). The NCAA regionals, which Harvard will almost definitely be invited to regardless of how their conference tournament goes, go March 23-26, with the exact dates depending on the region. This round is single elimination, so it’s possible that Coronato could become available as early as March 24.
If you have the time and interest to be scoreboard-watching college hockey, now would be a good time to start doing so.

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